California Advocacy & Policy Academy will collaborate with 20 organizations to inform state skills training policies

By Devon Miner, January 22, 2020

National Skills Coalition (NSC) is excited to announce the twenty organizations and representatives selected for our first California Advocacy and Policy Academy (CAPA) cohort. CAPA is the first policy academy in the state focused on providing a platform for community-based organizational leaders to engage in state-level workforce development policy discussions. CAPA is a two-year initiative made possible through support from The James Irvine Foundation, Tipping Point Community, and Ballmer Group. Applications for our second cohort will be available Fall 2020.

About CAPA

Community-based organizations (CBOs) play a critical role in recruiting and training workers, providing culturally competent services, and supporting people as they work to fulfill their career aspirations. Yet too often, state skills policies fail to support these organizations. CAPA will empower participants to change this narrative. CAPA will be a platform to better connect the work being done at the local leveland the decisions being made at the state policy level. Participants in CAPA will have the opportunity to examine how CBOs and non-profit service providers can inform and be supported by state skills training policies.

Throughout the year, members in CAPA will participate in a series of workshops designed to:

  • Build the capacity of CBO leaders and nonprofit service providers to engage in state workforce development policy.

  • Empower more CBOs and nonprofit service providers to become more active advocates for workforce development policy change.

  • Educate and widen participants understanding of key workforce development policy issues, the policymaking process, and landscape.

  • Examine and understand how CBOs can inform and be supported by state skills training policies.

  • Create a community of practice that unearths and elevates best practices that impact policy change and decisions.

Members of CAPA will also have the opportunity to share their expertise with state peers, apply lessons learned throughout the academy, and participate in state capitol visits to inform policy decisions as it relates to skills training and education.

Applicants were selected to participate in CAPA based on their commitment to:

  • Expanding high-quality, industry-based job training and/or support services across California

  • Working towards a more equitable economy

  • Removing systemic barriers and creating more opportunities for people who have been structurally disconnected from economic opportunity

With that, here are the twenty names and organizations in our first CAPA cohort:

  • Daniela Alvarenga, Pomona Economic Opportunity Center, Pomona

  • Kimberly Alvarenga, California Domestic Workers Coalition, San Francisco

  • Cynthia Centeno Garcia, San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego

  • Lisa Countryman-Quiroz, Jewish Vocational Services (Northern California), San Francisco

  • Corinne Eldridge, California Long-Term Education Center, Los Angeles

  • Ilaf Esuf, California Competes, Oakland

  • Adine Forman, Hospitality Training Academy, Los Angeles

  • Stacy Hollingsworth, Apprenti California, Statewide

  • Pao Houa Lee, The Fresno Center, Fresno

  • Joceline Jimenez, Orange County United Way, Irvine

  • Stephanie McNally, Canal Alliance, San Rafael

  • Maria Moreno, ROC The Bay, Oakland

  • Peter Ortiz, Year Up, Oakland

  • Timer Paida, Nile Sisters Development, San Diego

  • Gitanjali Rawat, Upwardly Global, San Francisco

  • Brianna Robinson, Opportunity Junction, Antioch

  • Aleah Rosario, Foundation for California Community Colleges, Sacramento

  • Adria Salvatore, Association of Woodworking and Furnishing Suppliers, Anaheim

  • Randi Wolfe, Early Care and Education Pathways to Success, Inland Empire

  • Carlos A. Yanes, Downtown Community Job Center, Los Angeles

The first cohort of CAPA will run from February 2020 – November 2020. If you are interested in learning more about NSC’s work in California, visit and sign up on the Skills for CA website and email State Network Manager Devon Miner.